City Commission Worksession Minutes 09-11-2023

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                                         City of Muskegon

                                           Work Session


                                  September 11, 2023, 5:30 pm
                                       Muskegon City Hall
                             933 Terrace Street, Muskegon, MI 49440

Present:                   Mayor Ken Johnson
                           Commissioner Rachel Gorman
                           Commissioner Rebecca St.Clair
                           Commissioner Eric Hood
                           Vice Mayor Willie German, Jr.
                           Commissioner Michael Ramsey
                           Commissioner Teresa Emory

Staff Present:             City Manager Jonathan Seyferth
                           City Clerk Ann Meisch
                           Deputy City Clerk Kimberly Young


1.     Call to Order

       Mayor Ken Johnson called the Worksession meeting to order at 5:33 p.m.

2.     New Business

       2.a       Remarks from the Mayor Regarding 9-11 Commemoration

                 Mayor Johnson attended a 9-11 Commemoration Event at the USS Silversides
                 Museum. He shared excerpts of the some of the remarks he gave at the event. A
                 moment of silence was observed. Never Forget.

       2.b       Former Employee Health Refund Calculation

                 Traditionally (and per all 5 union contracts) employees paid 10% of their health
                 benefits (after 2017 this included three components Health Insurance, Co-
                 insurance, and Deductibles). At some point, an error in the calculation occurred,
                 and employees began paying more than 10%. This was brought to our attention

      in early 2023, and the insurance contributions have been corrected for all active
      employees. The commission must now consider addressing this matter with
      former team members who left employment between the error starting and
      being corrected.

      Starting in 2017 the City began using three different factors to determine
      employee contributions to their insurance premiums (a percent of actual
      monthly premiums and a percent of City Paid Benefits (co-insurance &
      deductibles)). Prior to 2017, just insurance premiums were used as a factor. This
      change was made because of cost increases in co-insurance and deductibles.

      Sometime after 2017 a calculation error occurred and employee contributions
      increased above the 10% level.

      Earlier this year the City Commission approved repayment of benefit
      overpayments to current employees. The administration is now asking the
      Commission to consider reimbursement of the overpayment to former
      employees who left the City between 2017 and the end of 2022 who also
      overpaid insurance premiums.

      During that time period, we had 58 former team members who took health
      insurance and overpaid. Individual overpayment ranges from about $3,200 to
      less than $10. The total cost to repay these former team members the
      overpayment is $51,696.83.

      AMOUNT REQUESTED: $52,696.83

      FUND OR ACCOUNT: Various - The appropriate departments and fund will cover
      this cost.

      City Manager Jonathan Seyferth provided an overview of this item. Multiple
      departments and multiple funds are impacted by this overpayment and it has
      taken some time to calculate all of the adjustments for those that have left the
      employment of the City. This item will appear on the September 26, 2023
      Agenda for consideration.

2.c   Cost Recovery Ordinance 22 - Public Safety

      Cost Recovery Ordinance Section 22, for Department of Public Safety.

      This Chapter is adopted to enable the City of Muskegon to bill for and collect
      “cost recovery charges”, as defined herein, from those receiving direct benefits
      from fire department services, police department services, public works, and

      other emergency services provided by the City compared to the fee chart. It is
      expressly the purpose of this Chapter to provide for and promote the safety and
      welfare of the general public.

      FUND OR ACCOUNT: 101-336-971

      Chief Kozal spoke about the proposed cost recovery ordinance, explaining how it
      would be beneficial to the city to help recover some of the cost of police, fire
      and DPW services in certain situations, on a case-by case basis. Discussion took
      place and some adjustments will be made to portions of the proposed
      ordinance. This will be on the agenda at a later regular meeting for further

2.d   Amendment to Ride Muskegon Agreement - Manager's Office

      City staff is working with Ride Muskegon, LLC on developing an amendment to
      their operating agreement.

      The final operating agreement was approved in April of 2022, but the owner was
      unable to receive and place scooters into operation. With a new partner and the
      ability to purchase scooters, the owner is requesting an amendment to the
      agreement to do the following.

        Reset the initial term for the duration of January 1, 20024 to December 31,

        Update the Non-Parking Zone Fee to $50 each occurrence

      It is important to note that there is potential for the agreement to be in effect
      for 25 years. During that time, Ride Muskegon, LLC has exclusive use of the
      parking locations included in the attachments. No competitor can locate on city
      property within 500 feet of any of the parking locations for the entire term of the

      Marked up versions of the approved documents are included in the packet.
      Please note the highlighted sections and the comments provided.

      Deputy City Manager, Leigh Ann Mikesell, reviewed proposed changes to the
      Ride Muskegon Agreement. Changes are being requested after implementation
      due to unforeseen circumstances discovered after implementation. Discussion
      took place and the consensus of the commission is to terminate the agreement.

2.e   Rezoning Update - Planning

      On Thursday, September 14, the Planning Commission will hear the following
      case: Hearing, Case 2023-23: Staff-initiated request to rezone all of the
      properties zoned R-1, R-2, R-3, and RT in the McLaughlin, Angell, and Jackson Hill
      neighborhoods to FBC-UR.

      Mike Franzak, Planning Manager, explained that the McLaughlin, Angell, and
      Jackson Hill Neighborhoods are being targeted for rezoning to Form Based Code
      in order to expand the types of housing choices that can be built in those

      Due to the amount of public outreach that has already been done in these
      neighborhoods, they have been selected for potential rezoning. The Planning
      Department is focused on finding housing options that fit in to these
      neighborhoods and wants to work closely with them to move forward with infill

      The proposed rezoning item is scheduled for a Public Hearing with the Planning
      Commission on September 14, 2023.

      More housing options help lead to more affordable housing. Discussion took
      place regarding the proposed rezoning. Economic Development Director, Jake
      Eckholm, also addressed the commission and provided more context supporting
      the proposed zoning changes. Adopting Form Based Code zoning in the
      McLaughlin, Angell, and Jackson Hill Neighborhoods would allow for duplex,
      triplex, and quadplex units as well as the ability to build single family homes on
      smaller lots as well as several other changes to allow more options for
      construction. More discussion took place. This item will be considered on
      September 26, 2023.

2.f   Driver's Licenses for Undocumented Individuals - Manager's Office

      The state legislature is currently considering the Drive SAFE (Safety, Access,
      Freedom, and the Economy) Act, which would provide undocumented Michigan
      Residents with the option to obtain a Michigan Driver's license. The City
      Commission is being asked to consider approving a resolution in support of this
      legislation that can be shared with State Legislators.

      Commissioner Ramsey provided an overview of the status of the ability for non-
      citizens to obtain Michigan Driver's Licenses. He is seeking support for a
      resolution of support for the Drive SAFE Act. The resolution will be on the
      agenda at a later date.

     2.g   Shoreline Drive Road Diet Study

           DPW Director Dan VanderHeide provided an update, from an engineering
           standpoint things are going well - public feedback has been coming in. We have
           implemented lane closures and landscaping. The other two elements of the pilot
           have not been implemented but work continues to get this done. Pilot will run
           through the end of October.

           Discussion took place regarding the elements of the pilot, FAQs are being
           updated as more comments and questions come in from the public.

3.   Public Comment

     No public comment was received.

4.   Adjournment

     The Work Session meeting adjourned at 8:00.


                                                                    Respectfully Submitted,

                                                       Ann Marie Meisch, MMC - City Clerk


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